I have been such a slacker with the family blog lately; that and my personal journal too.
What happened? Well, we went on our summer vacation in the last week of July. We got back from that, settled in (sort of) for a week, and then little Leo went in for surgery the week of August 8th. That turned into a much more stressful situation than we had anticipated. The surgery was a success, but Leo had difficulty breathing afterwards. What we thought might be a one day hospital stay became a 3 day adventure!
After that things really picked up for me at work, and the children's school year began, and we had more medical appointments for Leo, and physical therapy appointments, and we had some birthdays in there, and an earthquake, and a hurricane, and a flooded basement, and soccer practices, and one last Summer hurrah before school *really* began ... Kim and I feel like Lucille Ball in the chocolate factory!
The conveyor belt keeps rolling, faster and faster.
In all this activity, I have been reminded of my own limitations. I think both Kim and I are the kinds of people who want to do more, more, more! We like to be busy. We like to feel significant. But sometimes we take on too much.
It's a fine line, I think, between consciously keeping your own personal "space" and neglecting the radical life that God calls us to.
The road of obedience has a ditch on each side! On one side is the ditch of self reliance. That's the place where you carry the world on your shoulders and you take on more burden than any one person should have to bear. On the other side is the ditch of selfish resistance. That's the place where you resist stepping out of your comfort zone unless you see a dazzling sign ... like skywriting or perhaps tap-dancing angels.
I am sure that I am not smart enough to know how to steer myself down the middle of this road. But the good news is that I don't have to be.
Recently I had the privilege of re-reading Romans 8. There I found these words:
“For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”
“ And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
What a great reminder these verses are to me that, while my own strength is not sufficient to please God, I am not called to rely on it. Instead I get to rely on His Holy Spirit. My efforts, such as they are, are to be focused not on any outward act, but on remaining in Him. Do that, and the outward acts will follow.
With that spiritual pep talk in mind, I'd like to describe a great challenge Kim and I are facing now. Going in to Leo's surgery, we had a wild and somewhat unrealistic hope that, after the cleft palate reconstruction, some instinct in Leo would kick in and that he would quickly take to food.
That has not happened. Leo is still as dependent on his NG feeding tube as ever. I must admit, that has been demoralizing. By all earthly indicators, we are looking at a long, long haul here with Leo's growth and development. In my mind, the ability to eat solid food is a fundamental cornerstone in his development.
Perhaps it really will be a long, long haul. But that's not going to stop me from praying.
So, if you are reading this, please remember little Leo and his family in your prayers. Please pray specifically that he would develop the ability to eat solid food.
I have this wild hope that someday in the not too distant future I will be able to update this blog and describe a miraculous response to those prayers!